MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2013/14
CASE IN POINT | Michel Herbelin
A Name, a Family and a Company
by Valdi Pereira
A traditional French watch-making company, Michel Herbelin is independent, family run and unique in the watch-making world. At Michel Herbelin, the directors are the shareholders and are also descendants of Michel, the founder. The firm boasts exemplary responsiveness and has outstanding freedom of action. Three Herbelin generations now work alongside one another, upholding a fascinating family tradition that has lasted for more than 60 years.
The General Manager of Michel Herbelin and Luxco Importers (Pty) Ltd, Lynne Anderson, believes her career highlights includes travelling and seeing places and meeting people through the watch and jewellery business. “Getting to know the Herbelin family has been amazing. They are warm and incredibly hospitable people. The French cuisine, I have had the privilege to
experience with Jean-Claude and Pierre-Michel Herbelin is truly a gastronomy delight!” she says enthusiastically.
Michel Herbelin is an independent family-run watch making business that is unique in this business of large corporates. Jean-Claude and Pierre-Michel treat employees and agents like extended family to Michel Herbelin. Essentially, this means they listen to us and that we obtain exemplary service – and they also have an understanding of what the South African market requires. We, in turn, are a small, independent company that can respond quickly and work together to uphold the values of independence, uncompromising commitment to quality, a creative spirit, and close relations with our people and market.”Despite the difficulty of moving into the African retail jewellery and watch market, Michel Herbelin has a few stores in neighbouring countries such as Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. “We have had extremely good sales in the South African Airways duty-free shops, and these are the most profitable legs for Michel Herbelin going into Africa, especially Angola.”
Some 1450 companies from the watch, jewellery and precious-stone industries, as well as related sectors, showcase their latest creations at the BASELWORLD show. About 120 000 visitors from the specialist retail and wholesale trade make their way to Basel from all over the world to discover current trends and view the latest watch and jewellery sectors. After many successful years Baselworld was totally redesigned and opened its doors on the 25th April 2013 with a stunning new concept even more impressive than the past. All exhibitors including Michel Herbelin, spent more than two years negotiating space and redesigning their stands. Michel Herbelin did not disappoint and launched their impressive new look with stunning creative architecture. Added to this, a select few new exciting timepiece creations were launched, which will be available in South Africa from September.
The world economy is under pressure, which is also affecting the South African economy. “It has been a tough year. However, South Africans are resilient. We need to focus on the positives in our country and work together for a better future. Continue walking the correct path,” says Lynne.
Family is extremely important to Lynne, who is married with two boys and who is the youngest sister of four; so she makes every effort to spend time with them. “I love travelling, walking, cycling, and being with good friends and family. A couple of years ago, 10 of ‘us girls’ cycled around France for eight days with our kit being sponsored by Michel Herbelin. That was great fun!” Despite belonging to a book club, Lynne admits that she is ‘not a great reader’, as she finds it difficult to spend the time reading. Her goal is to continue focusing on doing her best through hard work and attention to detail whilst being happy living life to the fullest. “I aim to be a good role model for the people I work with, and, of course my children. Women play an integral role in business today and I urge all women, not only those in business, to be role models, to focus on peace, equality, and our youth, and to fight corruption.”
66 Years of Heritage
Michel Herbelin is an independent, deliberately small-scale French company that follows in the purest tradition of watchmaking. Its exclusive collection reflects the times in which we live by way of a very definite “art de vivre (art of living)”. Each creation has its own personal style and is finished to the highest possible standards. The Herbelin story began in 1947 in Charquemont, France, in the heart of the Jura Mountains, – the home of watchmaking since the 18th Century. Michel Herbelin was a passionate believer in traditional, fine watchmaking and decided to take a stand against the new mass-production techniques that were looming on the horizon and threatening to oust the old techniques. 66 years on the clock: it’s a great anniversary for a company that has been crowned with some great successes, and is still supported by the Herbelin family, which continues the tradition and is involved in the company’s development. This development is guided by family values and a passion for traditional watchmaking.
Michel Herbelin has passed on his passion and the brand to his sons Pierre-Michel, the Chairman of the company, and Jean-Claude, its chief executive officer. 66 years later, the third generation is now also represented in the company, since two of Michel’s grandchildren have started working in its marketing department. They have steered the brand into a new phase, developing a brand image based on creativity and attention to detail through worldwide communication campaigns.
A Watch for Each Personality
Michel Herbelin offers a wide range of models that meet all requirements - sporty, classic and beautiful feminine timepieces. Clean lines, elegance and attention to detail are the cornerstones of Michel Herbelin design. Creating models that reflect the ever-changing nature of watch making trends, and collections that embrace the imagination and emotion, Michel Herbelin pieces are as unique as the people that wear them. Designed for the individual - for you.
Designed and made in France, all watches have Swiss movements. The brand therefore benefits from the flair of French design with the precision of Swiss engineering. The flagship collection, which can be found within the sport category, is Newport and Newport Yacht Club. Inspired by the sea, the collections takes its name from the America’s cup and the race to Newport Rhode Island. All Newport watches are water resistant to at least 10 atmospheres and are fitted with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The Classic look is the epitome of French style and good design. The main family groups are Epsilon - with slim understated clean lines and Classique – timeless and elegant manufactured with attention to detail. A new addition is the City Chronograph - a stylish Chronograph with an urban personality!
The ladies feminine category consists of a variety of stylish collections that can literally be worn as a piece of jewellery that tells the time. Ranging from elegant M-Band bangle watches, the signature Cable Collection to the delicate bracelet versions such as Perle, Michel Herbelin is a Brand that has a watch to suit every taste and wrist. Montres de Luxe Francaise – Luxury watches made in France.